WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) — The former chief operating officer of the Waukee school district has resolved criminal misconduct in office allegations by pleading guilty to lesser charges.Dallas County on Friday dropped felony charges against former Waukee chief operating officer Eric Rose.Instead, Rose pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges related to his personal use of a district snowblower and his solicitation of district vendors to make donations to his son’s hockey team. The dismissed charges related to allegations that he directed staff to falsify time cards of a maintenance worker who ran an errand for him.Rose was granted a deferred judgment, which means the charges will be dismissed after he completes one year probation, and fined $630.His attorney, Grant Woodard, said his client is satisfied with the agreement and “looks forward to putting this all behind him.”Rose was charged in December after a state audit of the school district described a culture of questionable spending and management decisions by administrators.
Google wanted to jazz up its site without making things too busy or commercial, Mayer said. Reflecting its cautious approach, Google’s first set of decorations consist of just six themes revolving mostly around landscapes. The settings include a Japanese tea garden, a beach, a city skyline and a bus stop. Google plans to introduce a few more themes each month and eventually might accept outside submissions, Mayer said. Google has programmed its decorations to reflect what’s happening in the outside world. Users are asked to enter their ZIP code so the digital drawings change from day to night and fluctuate with the weather. The designs also will contain hidden surprises known as “Easter eggs” that will open up with an opportune click at the right time of the day, Mayer said. She wouldn’t reveal any of the surprises, but indicated they will delight high-tech geeks with a sense of humor. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – Sprucing up its famously plain Web site, Google Inc. is offering a new option that plants its Internet search box in panoramic settings that change with the time of day and the outside weather. The colorful graphics to be unveiled today represent the latest bit of pizazz to be served up on Google’s home page as the Mountain View-based company caters to the digerati who want to customize everything from their cell phones to their computers. While most of Google’s users remain satisfied seeing little more than the company logo and the search box that has anchored its home page for nearly a decade, millions of others have created log-ins that enable them to select from a variety of features that appear with each visit. These additional bells and whistles – introduced nearly two years ago – include stock quotes, local weather and news headlines. Google’s new package of decorations, also known as “skins,” are designed to make the home page feel even more homey, said Marissa Mayer, the company’s vice president of search products and user experience. “Google has become the doorway to the Internet for a lot of people, so we want to make (the site) feel more like an online living room,” Mayer said. “We feel we are personalizing things in a very tasteful and usable way.” Rival Yahoo Inc. already has been experimenting with a broader selection of decorative themes as part of an upgrade of its “MyYahoo” service. “This is a much bigger step for Google because they have always prided themselves on their plain white pages,” said Dan Cohen, who worked on the personalization efforts at both Google and Yahoo before recently becoming chief executive of Pageflakes Ltd., a startup that customizes Web pages. The use of more graphics illustrates Google’s evolution from a once-pure Internet search engine into an all-purpose Web site that offers e-mail, news, photo sharing, instant messaging, shopping and mapping services. The diversification over the past five years has raised worries that Google might be overextending itself, but the expansion hasn’t hurt so far. As its lead in the lucrative Internet search market continued to widen, Google more than doubled its profit to $3.1 billion last year.
Fortuna >> Mike Benbow might not have seen a better first half from his team to open the North Coast Section playoffs last Friday night.Seven days later, last week’s impressive first half got a pretty good run for its money.Sparked by a monster stand on fourth down and a rushing attack that could not be stopped, 4th-seeded Fortuna scored a mind-boggling 41 unanswered points to end the first half that turned what was a back-and-forth opening eight minutes into a runaway 60-6 win over No. 5 …
Aside from the 49ers being the only unbeaten team in the NFC, there’s something else remarkable about their game on Sunday. It will mark the first time in nearly 30 years both the 49ers and Rams have winning records heading into their NFC West rivalry game in Los Angeles.Not since Joe Montana’s three touchdown passes led the 49ers to a thrilling 30-27 win over the Rams after falling behind 17-0 in December of 1989 have both teams entered their showdown in L.A. as winners.The 49ers’ timing …
TeamSA – Jonathan Oliff (l) and SeanTickner (r) – have triumphed over thecompetition in Northern Ireland.(Image: Darren Kidd / Presseye.com) MEDIA CONTACTS • Dominic BothnerBushmills marketing manager,Brandhouse SA+27 11 731 6000RELATED ARTICLES• SAB first with UV purification • Amarula Cream a global market leader• SA develops rooibos flavour wheel• Wine route celebrates 40 yearsLyndon JafthaThe Make It 2 Bushmills – also referred to as the World Whiskey Games – is a gruelling competition where teams of two battle it out for two days at the renowned Bushmills Distillery in the village of Bushmills, County Antrim in Northern Ireland.Teams take on punishing tasks, both mental and physical, such as beach golf, barrel rolling and blind taste tests in the hopes of winning the prestigious Bushmills Trophy.The prize includes a two-week stint at the 403-year-old distillery, working with master distiller Colum Egan; a chance to make a unique whiskey using techniques imparted by Egan; and a generous allowance of US$8 200 (R59 000) spending money.This year, it was the tough duo from South Africa that won, beating, among others, the home team. Sean Tickner, 30, a prosthetist from Cape Town, and 28-year-old Jonathan Oliff, a brand strategist from Durban, were the two local representatives.The judging panel included Egan; Kevin Baird of Irish rock band Two Door Cinema Club; Rob Allanson, editor of Whisky Magazine; and Jonathan Galkin, manager of independent label DFA Records.Teams from 11 different countries took part – the competition included Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Russia, and the US.Of all the countries, South Africa had the highest number of entries, which were then narrowed down to the final two.“We’re looking for real friends, with a genuine love for life and wicked sense of humour,” said Egan before the event, “and I’m sure we’ll find them.”Afterwards the distiller lauded the pair, who are brothers-in-law, as worthy winners. He said they had shown the qualities sought by the judges, despite the fact that they didn’t win any of the challenges.Competitive spiritParticipants arrived in Belfast on 16 August 2011 and were whisked off to Bushmills for the first day of the event. They were taken on a tour of the distillery and shown by the master distiller what happens behind the scenes. They also visited the 40 000 hexagonal basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway, Ireland’s first heritage site.During these leisure activities they had the chance to size up the competition.Day two started with barrel rolling. A difficult mission, but Oliff and Tickner managed a first place in their heat and third place in the final.The teams then had to brave a round of beach golf, in the rain, followed by the blind taste testing and cocktail making challenges. Although these were less physically demanding, they proved to be harder than expected – South Africa managed to correctly identify only one of the whiskeys on offer in the taste test.For the cocktail challenge, which had to include Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Team SA paid tribute to the country’s first democratically elected president with a cream based creation named Magical Madiba.The final task was persuading the judges of their winners’ potential, through a short performance featuring song, dance, poetry or whatever they felt would be necessary to be convincing.It was enough to secure top spot for Team SA.“It’s amazing to be named the winners,” said an elated Oliff. “We came to the global final here in Bushmills to do our country proud – we can’t wait to take the distillery home to South Africa.”
5 April 2012 As appetite for investment in the continent continues to grow, the JSE is implementing a new Africa strategy, migrating the companies listed on its Africa board to its main board and diversifying the instrument range it offers to African investors. The JSE said in a statement on Monday that African companies will be allowed to list directly on its main board and AltX smaller cap board from mid-year, as Africa’s largest stock exchange moves to position itself as a more attractive proposition for African listings. Included in its new offering will depository receipts and a broader range of exchange traded funds and debt instruments. Since its launch in 2009, the JSE’s Africa board has managed to attract only two successful listings: Botswana’s Wilderness Holdings, an ecotourism company, and Trustco Group Holdings, a Namibian-based microinsurance and microfinance company. However, the JSE said, it had found that companies wanted to be ranked with their sector peers, something the Africa board did not allow.‘The Africa strategy’ There were other reasons why it felt the time was right for a strategic shift. “First, the October 2011 announcement by National Treasury that companies previously viewed as foreign listings would in future be treated as domestic makes it easier for South Africans to invest in JSE-listed African stocks – that makes capital raising by foreign companies easier,” the JSE said. Second, the JSE had developed good relations with several stock exchanges on the continent. Third, investment flows into the continent’s markets and the number of funds focused on the region were increasing as investors searched for high returns in previously unexplored emerging markets. “All of this means that there is an opportunity for the JSE to work with these exchanges and various development institutions to build capacity on the continent,” said Siobhan Cleary, director of strategy and public policy at the JSE. “It also gives the JSE the opportunity to evolve its Africa strategy. “This has meant looking critically at what issuers – companies, governments and others – from the rest of the continent are looking for, and aligning their needs with the JSE’s objectives.” Diversifying the instrument range Nathan Mintah, chairman of the JSE’s Africa advisory committee, said the evolution in the JSE’s strategy was “a step in the right direction in the quest to increase capital flows into the rest of Africa”. “Offering issuers and investors the ‘whole JSE’ market platform for access to instruments across the capital structure in equities, mezzanine, and fixed income, combined with the JSE’s liquidity, will clearly benefit all stakeholders and serve as a catalyst for product innovation in areas such as exchange traded products for the rest of Africa.” The JSE is also working at diversifying the instrument range it offers investors from the rest of the continent. The bourse currently offers four interest rate instruments from the rest of the continent, as well as an African exchange traded product, Cleary said, but would be giving increased focus to listing further debt and quasi-equity products.Depository receipts “These will also include depository receipts (DRs), which are traded like shares and offer investors the same economic, corporate and voting rights as holding underlying shares directly.” DRs enable issuers to reach investors located outside their home markets while reducing the risk of cross-border investment. They would provide a way for African companies to raise capital on the JSE without requiring a secondary listing, Cleary said. “DRs are applicable for African companies regardless of whether they have an existing listing on an African exchange or any other exchange. Freely traded in South African rands, this will allow African companies to market themselves to both South African and international investors.” Previously, the Africa board only catered for main board listings. Smaller and medium-sized companies from the rest of Africa fulfilling AltX criteria will from now on be encouraged to list. “The JSE’s existing African offering includes 12 African companies,” said Cleary. “In future, there will be no differentiation (for listing purposes) between African and non-African companies. “For equities, this will mean that we will list the companies on the main board or AltX as applicable. We will also actively market and profile the African companies that are already listed.” The JSE said it believed that its approach provided a workable solution to the sometimes complex issue of investment on the continent, while also contributing to the development of markets within their own economies. SAinfo reporter
Your strengths are different from your competitors. So are your weaknesses. Even though you sell exactly the same thing, many of your processes are different. You have different capabilities and different limitations. You produce different results, sometimes markedly different.How you create value is different (Think Wal-Mart and Tiffany’s).The people within your organizations are very different. You have a different view of the world (Think Southwest Airlines and Virgin Airlines). The leadership is different (Think Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer). The management is different. The sales force is different. The guy that unloads the trucks at the backdoor is different.Your company has a different culture (Think Goldman Sachs and Google). You have different beliefs about what matters. Your companies have different personalities, different goals, and different ambitions. Your view of the world is very, very different (Think the political Left and the political Right).With so many—and so many important—differences, why on earth would you compare your goals, your ambitions, your pricing, your strategy, your benchmarks, your key performance indicators, your sales process, or your messaging with your competitors?Your goals are your own. Measure yourself against your progress in reaching your goals, not someone else’s. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now
If you are not “asking,” you are not selling.It sounds nice to say things like, “I am facilitating a buying decision, and I will wait until my prospect tells me that they are ready to take the next step.” It sounds nice, but it isn’t. It’s abdicating your responsibility.Not asking doesn’t make you consultative. First let’s dispatch with the idea that not asking for commitments makes you consultative. It doesn’t. Consultants make recommendations on next steps as a matter of course. Consultants also help organizations change. The very nature of helping a company change not only requires asking for commitments, but it also requires asking for massive commitments of time, energy, money, and political capital.By not asking, you do not establish yourself as a peer. If you want to serve your dream client as a trusted advisor and a peer, you ask for the things that you know you need to make a difference. If you need access to and other stakeholders, you ask for that access. If you need information, you ask for the information. If you need your dream client to take a run through your proposal and presentation before you present, you book time on their calendar. A subservient, non-value creating salesperson who fears damaging relationships by asking for what they need will never be considered a peer.Not asking cedes the process to your prospective client, and it presupposes that you are not necessary beyond whatever point it is where you stop asking for commitments. Let’s say you make a discovery call and your dream client tells you that they will get back to you in the next few weeks. By not asking for a future commitment, you have agreed that you are irrelevant in the process of decision-making that they will engage in during those few weeks. If you make a proposal without asking for the business, you leave open the idea that your prospective client should consider this on their own, potentially looking at other partners. You need to ask for agreement on the process.By not asking, you don’t demonstrate your serious interest in helping your dream client make changes. Asking your dream client for their business shows your serious interest in working with them. Not asking demonstrates your apathy. There is nothing attractive or sexy about someone who is dispassionate about what they sell. People want to work with people who are all in on helping them get the results they need. You cannot be ambivalent. Therefore, you have to ask.Just ask.
A day when a report emerged that the DNA of the baby girl, delivered last month by the 10-year-old rape victim here, didn’t match with the accused — who is an uncle of the victim — the Chandigarh Police has said that matter was part of investigation and nothing can be revealed at this moment.Chandigarh police comments came after a section of media reported, claiming that Central Forensic Science Laboratory has in its report stated that the DNA of the baby girl, who was delivered on August 17, at a local government hospital did not match with the accused.“I can not comment on anything related on this issue..Whatever has been reported is now a part of police investigation,” Nilambari Jagadale Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh told, The Hindu on Tuesday.“We will carry out further investigation and only then I’ll be able to comment on the issue,” she added.The 10-year-old victim girl was allegedly raped by her uncle repeatedly. The accused was arrested on July 14 after an FIR was registered against him on the complaint of victim’s mother.Notably, the Supreme Court had on July 28 turned down the abortion plea of the rape victim, who at that time had a 32-week-old pregnancy. The pregnancy of the victim was discovered when she complained of stomach ache in July and was taken to the hospital, where it was found that she was around 30 weeks pregnant.
Veteran Indian star Leander Paes and his American partner Scott Lipsky entered the semi-finals of the Bordeaux Challenger tennis tournament with a straight sets win over the French pair of Laurent Lokoli and Maxime Janvier here on Wednesday.The Indo-American pair won 6-4, 6-4 over Lokoli-Janvier.In the semi-final on Friday, Paes-Lipsky will meet the Indian pair of Purav Raja and Divij Sharan, who got the better of Australian combine of Alex Bolt Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-6 in another Round-of-eight clash.